The Simple Truths of Real Estate: Part 3

This is the last of our three-part series called the Simple Truths of Real Estate. Just like in life, there are some things in real estate that are always true; no matter the geography or the market condition. To recap…

Truth#1:  It doesn’t matter what the neighbors’ home sold for in the past

Home values are dynamic. They rise and fall with market conditions, just like a company stock on an exchange. What a house was worth five years ago, last month or even last week has no bearing on the value of a house today. This can be a difficult pill to swallow.

Keys to Your Home

Truth #2:  A home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it. 

What matters is what a buyer thinks it’s worth — and what a buyer will offer on a property.  Also, if the buyer requires financing, whether a lender will approve a loan at that amount.

House Values

Truth #3:  Home improvements will not make a home value increase in an amount equal to or greater than what was paid for the improvements.

A corollary to the third law of real estate is that money spent on maintaining a home adds zero to the home’s value.

The Skinny on Home Improvements

So, you are thinking of investing is a home improvement project and you want to get the best return for the amount invested where should you spend your money?  Think about the kitchen and bathrooms. Kitchen and bath improvements tend to have higher rates of payback than others.  It is rare; however, that the improvement will add equal or more value to a home than what it cost.

Home Improvements

What if My Home Improvement Doesn’t Add Value?

One of the questions that I receive quite often from homeowners is, “Should I do a home improvement if it doesn’t add value.”  No one wants to decrease the value of their home, but owning a home is not just about increasing the value of a home it is about enjoying your home.  My advice, if you are going to use and enjoy your home improvement then you should do it.

Someone Really Likes Airplanes

What About Home Maintenance?

Cleaning the gutters, having the HVAC services twice a year, fixing the roof doesn’t increase the value of your home.  It means that you are a good and conscientious homeowner, but it doesn’t increase the value of your home.

Sure, the fact the water heater, air conditioner, and roof are newish will likely appeal to some buyers. That might well be what triggers their decision to buy your home versus another one, but they don’t make the home intrinsically more valuable.

Does it suck to dump $3,000 into an air conditioning repair on a home you’re not even going to live in? You bet it does. But try selling a home without air conditioning in places it gets over 80 degrees. Good luck selling a home anywhere without a water heater or a roof.

If fundamental repairs are needed, the owner is just going to have to suck it up and make them and not expect to recoup any of that money — or be prepared to discount the list price to compensate.

Time for a New A/C Unit!

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Phone 919.589.3576 | Email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com   

The Simple Truths of Real Estate: Part 2

This is the 2nd in our three-part series called the Simple Truths of Real Estate. Just like in life, there are some things in real estate that are always true; no matter the geography or the market condition.

Truth #1:  It doesn’t matter what the neighbors’ home sold for in the past

Home values are dynamic. They rise and fall with market conditions, just like a company stock on an exchange. What a house was worth five years ago, last month or even last week has no bearing on the value of a house today. This can be a difficult pill to swallow.

Truth #2:  A home is worth what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay for it. 

There are many sources that can provide an estimate of the value of your home:
1) various automated valuation prices from the national real estate sites or
2) have requested a home appraisal from a real estate appraiser or a
3) market assessment from a real estate agent
The truth is that all of these are estimates. If you ask 5 real estate agents for a valuation, chances are you will get 5 different prices. The same is you hire five separate appraisals or go on-line and request a valuation from five separate websites, chances are you are going to receive five separate valuations.

Selling a Home in 2019

 

So What is the Truth?

In short, it doesn’t matter what the homeowners think their home is worth. And it certainly doesn’t matter what the agent or owner wishes the home was worth.

Automated valuations are fun to play with and are reasonable ways to look at pricing trends, but they should never be relied on to price a home (the AVM providers will even tell you this if you’ll listen to them).

What matters is what a buyer thinks it’s worth — and what a buyer will offer on a property.  Also, if the buyer requires financing, whether a lender will approve a loan at that amount.

Making Your House Standout

A Real-World Example

Listed a ranch home in Apex a few years ago in an established neighborhood.  We received multiple offers, one of which being $13,000 above asking, all cash, no inspections, 7-day close.  In this case, we had a buyer that was willing to pay considerably over asking to be in their desired neighborhood and home. 

Wrapping Up

If you are thinking of selling, it is critical that you get multiple valuation estimates.  Shop around.  Meet with multiple agents that have successfully sold a home in your market.  Ask how they determined the valuation and what steps they will follow to market your home to potential buyers. 

Pricing is Key When Trying to Attract Homebuyers

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Phone 919.589.3576 | Email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

Quick Tips to Sell Your Home Faster

Homes sales are slowing!  More homes are on the market.  Competition for buyers is increasing. What can you do to help your home sell faster? Here are a couple of quick tips to get your home sold more quickly.

Make Buyers Feel at Home

Declutter your home! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house! Once the house has been decluttered, keep it organized! Before any showings, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes.  See more tips to get your home ready to sell.  

Home Staging

Home staging is basically cleaning your home and rearranging the furniture (or renting furniture if it’s empty) so your home looks like a showroom. A professional home stager sees your home from a buyer’s perspective and understands how to highlight its strengths and soften its flaws.

A Well Staged Home

Professional Photography

Did you know that 92 percent of homebuyers (according to realtor.org) use the Internet as part of their home search?  Also, the average homebuyer spends an average of 10 seconds viewing a listing on sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com!! Homes that use professional photography also sell 32 times faster! With more homes on the market and homes staying on the market longer, it is critical that your home stand out above the competition.

Promote Your House Yourself

As listing agents, we do everything from videos, social media posts to yard signs and printed brochures (and several more things) to get the word out about one of our listings.  Sometimes, the best leads come right from our home sellers. We recommend that our clients also get the word out by posting on their social media accounts to family and friends.  You never know what friend of a friend or distant relative may be looking to buy. The more people who know about your sale, the likelier you are to find someone who is interested, and that’s vital when you’re figuring how to sell your home fast.

Promote Your House Sale, Too.

Price It Right

More inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. You want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house in 2019 is ensuring it is priced to sell.  Pricing is as much of an art as a science sometimes. It’s not just about what you need financially, but what the market will handle and how much value your home—and your neighborhood—has.

Also, take into consideration the upgrades you’ve made to the home and its features. While you probably won’t get a 100% return on your investment for renovations, they’ll likely affect how much your house is worth. That’s a lot to consider—which is why the most important thing about pricing is to work with your real estate agent and trust their advice. This is one of the most important ways their expertise will help you sell your home fast.  

Home Pricing is Critical

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Phone 919.589.3576 | Email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com   

 

Sources: 

Shocking Stats About the Importance of Photography in Real Estate:  RIS Media Selling Your Home Faster:  Keeping Current Matters    

Spring Home Checklist

Spring arrives on March 20th and will last for 92 days, 17 hours and 55 minutes…so, what are you waiting for? Let the home projects begin.

 

~Tori Toth

You may not have noticed but spring has arrived!  The days are definitely getting longer and as I write this article the temperature here in Raleigh is 80 degrees!  If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to plan your spring home projects.   

Many homeowners believe spring maintenance is all about the cleaning. Certainly, a good cleaning of the exterior and interior of the home is a good idea, but maintaining the systems, appliances and home structure is a must!  Here are some spring maintenance checklist items.  

Now is the Time for Spring Home Projects

Outdoor Home Projects

  • Clean gutters and downspouts.   
  • Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If the wood is showing through, and the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If the paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.
  • Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Perform a thorough cleaning. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls. 
  • Inspect driveways and paths.  
  • Air Conditioning. Just as you readied your furnace for fall, now is the time to make sure that air conditioning units are in good working order for the warmer months ahead. 
  • Check sprinkler and irrigation systems.  
  • Fertilize/Seed Lawn 
  • Mulch Beds 
  • Plant Spring Flowers in Pots (Front Entry/Entertaining Area) 
  • Organize Garage 
  • Clean Patio Furniture 
  • Clean Grill 

Indoor Home Projects 

Here are some ideas to refresh the inside of your home:   

  • Clean Light Fixtures 
  • Touch Up Paint + Baseboards 
  • Wash Windows/Blinds 
  • Wash/Maintain All Appliances 
  • Clean Out Closets (Seasonal Clothes) 
  • Clean Behind & Underneath ALL Furniture 
  • Add Seasonal Décor 
  • Remove Christmas Decorations:  Just noticed that we still have a couple of Christmas decoration scattered around the house!   
Taking Care of Your Home

How to Decide?

It can be difficult to prioritize your home projects.  After all, the list above is pretty extensive and spring is a great time to spend time with the family and check out all of the great things to do around the Triangle area!  Here are a couple suggestions to assist you with your spring home projects.  Start by handling any projects that can cause major damage like a leaky roof, or projects that could affect your safety in the home. Look to upgrade items that can help you save money, like replacing windows. Complete low-cost projects that make an impact, for instance, new paint before tackling the bigger projects.

Home Sweet Home

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Sources

Family Handyman Home Checklist 

Tori Toth Spring Home Goals 

Bob Vila Spring Home Checklist 

Home Advisor Home Checklist   

Wake County Real Estate Update – February 2019

The February real estate numbers are in for Wake County. January and February started off very slowly and most real estate followers feared the coming of a real estate slowdown.

How did we do in February? Find out here!

https://youtu.be/R8oS9i0MX_U

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Real Estate Market Update – January 2019

 

About Log Pond Realty

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via phone at 919.589.3576 or via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com 

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

A new year brings much excitement and anticipation, but could 2019 be the year for a new home?  Here are some quick New Year’s Resolutions to help you buy a home in 2019.

Resolution #1:  Boost Your Savings

Instead of just thinking about saving, why not start the new year off right with a resolution to jump-start your savings and start putting away more for your down payment on your first home?

If you’re worried that the traditional 20% down payment may be too difficult to save in a year, there may be additional mortgage options that don’t require that amount.

Resolution:  Ditch the daily Starbucks run and boost your savings!

Resolution #2:  Check Your Credit

Have you checked your credit report? If not, you should do that right away. Many credit reports contain errors and you will need time to have those mistakes removed.

Your credit score is a very important variable that lenders consider when deciding on your mortgage loan. To make sure you get the best possible rates, it is never too early to start improving your credit!

Resolution:  Check your credit score!

Resolution #3:  Pay Down Your Debt

Your debt-to-income ratio is an important factor for lenders. To help you achieve a favorable rate, focus on paying down your existing debt as much as possible. This new year commit to paying more toward credit card debt, student loans, medical debt, and other debt streams. With fewer dollars owed, you will be in a better position to afford a mortgage once you buy a home!

Resolution:  Brown bag your lunch and put the savings toward your debt.

Resolution #4:  Start Building Your Home Purchase Team

Buying a home on your own is no easy task, which is why most home buyers opt to utilize the talents of many professionals along the way. The new year is the perfect time to start thinking about building the home buying dream team that can help you find your home and pay for it too!

Your team should include an experienced real estate agent that can guide you through the process and a licensed loan officer that can assist you with all of the intricacies of the mortgage process.  Your real estate agent can also assist you with home inspectors, general contractors and a real estate attorney that can assist with repair negotiations and with your home closing.

Resolution:  Commit to finding an experienced real estate agent and lender that can guide you to finding your new home!

Wrapping Up

If you are planning to buy a home in 2019, now is the time to commit to your home purchase!  With a few simple resolutions, you could be living in your dream home this year!

We hope you have a very happy and prosperous New Year!

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. Home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

You may not think that the holiday season is a good time to sell your home, but think again!  This holiday season there are lots of holiday home buyers looking for great homes across the Triangle, NC area.  Follow these quick simple tips for merry home sale!

Yes, its that time of the year again!  It is the holiday season!  Time to deck the halls, trim the tree, find your ugly Christmas sweater & toast in the New Year! But is it time to sell your house?

While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed.

First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips.

Holiday Tip #1: Deck the Halls, but Don’t Go Overboard

Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers.  Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

Deck the Halls but Be Classy!

Holiday Tip #2: Give Holiday House Hunters a Place to Escape from the Cold

When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings; playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats.

Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold

 

Holiday Tip #3: Make Curb Appeal a Top Priority

 

When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard.

Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice, and leaves.

Holiday Tip #4: Hire a reliable real estate agent

Hire someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s.

Also, marketing your home takes extra importance during the winter season when the gardens are less than colorful and the leaves are off the trees.  Premium photography and video tours of your home are a critical part of the marketing program for your home.

When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

You’ll get less foot traffic during the holiday’s thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

Use Premium Photography & Videos to Capture Holiday Homebuyers

Holiday Tip #5: Relax – the New Year is right around the corner!

The holidays are stressful enough with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which, luckily, is only a few days away.

Enjoy Your Holiday

About Log Pond Realty 

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you in writing your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Homebuyer Sabotage

The homebuying market is tough!  As a homebuyer, the last thing you want to do is to sabotage your home purchase.  There are several simple things that you can do to avoid homebuyer sabotage.  Follow these simple steps and you will be calling that house your home in no time. 

The Homebuying Market is Tough

The home buying market is tough!  No question.  The last several years have been tough for homebuyers.  Low inventory, high demand, rising prices, and tighter lending rules have all contributed to this market.  As a homebuyer, what can you do?

What You Can Do

We work have worked with many homebuyers; from first-time home buyers to people looking step down, step up or buy their retirement retreat. Even before we begin to look at houses, we spend some time getting to know our homebuyer and talking to them about the ins and outs of the local market.  We also talk quite a bit about the home buying process.  Even for many experienced homebuyers, the process today can be quite different from the process just a few years ago.  Our goal is to make the process as smooth as possible for our clients.

One of the things that we talk about our ways not to sabotage your own home purchase.  A few weeks ago, I highlighted three ways that a homebuyer can sabotage their home purchase.

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

This week, we introduce three additional ways.

 

To recap, here are 6 ways that you as a homebuyer can avoid sabotaging your home purchase.

Recap – Ways to Avoid Homebuyer Sabotage

Stay Pre-Approved:  NO new lines of credit, minimum credit card usage, no late payments.

Don’t Dilly Dally:  If you fall in love with a house, you will need to make an offer QUICKLY.

Not Placing Your Best Offer the First Time:  The risk with a low offer is that you will not only sabotage your chances of negotiating with the seller but your offer might simply be rejected outright,  without a counter, or even ignored.

Asking Too Much from the Seller:  Be careful about how much you ask for because a seller will weigh all the pros and cons, especially in a multiple offer situation, and not necessarily accept the one that was for the most money.

Nit-Picking the Home Inspection:  Focus on the important repairs!

Having Pre-Mature Buyers’ Remorse:  Once your offer has been accepted, the appraisal is done, the inspection is done, and everything is hunky-dory – STOP home-shopping!

 

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. from Pexels

 

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.

Summer at the Pond

Summer at the Pond is coming to a close! It has been a truly amazing summer for Kelly and I.  We are so blessed to have had the opportunity to have helped some amazing clients realize their dream of homeownership.  We have also enjoyed lots of laughs of laughs in the process.

Thank you to our clients for trusting us to help you begin a new chapter in your lives.

Thank you to our team, our friends and our families for your help and support.

We can’t get enough of these happy faces and can’t wait for the next adventure in the wild world of Real Estate!

About Log Pond Realty @ RE/MAX United

Home is where your story begins. A home is where hopes and dreams are born, memories are made, and lives are lived. We would love the opportunity to assist you with assisting you to write your new story.

We can be reached via email at inquiries@logpondrealty.com or by phone at 919.589.3576.

We service the Triangle region of North Carolina including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Fuquay-Varina, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and Garner.